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Lady in Red in the Grand Mosque at Muskat

Jill Toman takes us on some journeys!

High quality images in and out of personal comfort zones!
We are very familiar with Jill Toman’s highly polished images that are regularly successful in monthly club competitions, so it was good that, on Thursday, she presented us with an evening which clearly illustrated another side of her photography. It was certainly an evening of two halves, the first of which featured images from her recent trip to Oman, and had an informative and enlightening travelogue style, whilst the second featured a relaxed and informal bicycle trip from Scarborough to the North Yorkshire Moors via Whitby, a few experiments in alternative styles, and a light hearted look at some family outings in familiar places.

The trip to Oman provided a wealth of opportunities for Jill to explore and demonstrate her geographical and geological interests, as well as to capture some stunning architecture and endearing portraits of the locals in their unique environments. Oman is a country shaped initially by 16th century Portuguese traders in incense , coffee and dates, and latterly by a series of powerful, but popular Sultans, each of whom has left his own legacy on a 21st century country determined to adapt to the challenges of climate and cultural change. In the modern capital, Muscat, in the north, where traditional and modern architecture blend, standing as they do, against the brown, arid landscapes and the deep, deep blue of the Gulf of Oman. Towering forts suggesting strength and power, sit easily alongside the magnificently modern Mosques and minarets that suggest light and air and cleanliness.

We saw through Jill’s eyes the beauty of the Islamic arches and the visual delights of the carpeted prayer rooms with only an occasional glimpse of traditionally dressed women and girls, so rarely seen on the streets, in markets or other public places. Jill’s images clearly depicted the contrasts as she toured the city and took to the reconstructed Dhows on the water from which Muscat’s skyline provided the perfect backdrop to the working Dhows moored alongside the fibreglass luxury yachts in the harbour.

Away from the coast Jill travelled and photographed the turtle reserve of Ras al Jinz, swam in the wadis and went off road joy riding in Toyotas en route to the deserts. Here, true to form, she inevitably explored the patterns and form in the sands and the dunes and went in search of wandering camels.

Part 2 began with images taken in the past year to practise sports and action at Point to Points and Motorcross events, as well as first time attempts to capture drama at The Wave. Equally new to Jill was the art of intentional camera movement which she practised on a walk with with Rose Atkinson in Wells. Reverting to travel mode, the cycle trip to the North York Moors with Suzanne Ladd in the heat of last summer became the focus, with the delights of Whitby Abbey, whalebone arches and metal sculptures featuring prominently. Jill clearly enjoys the company of family and the remaining images featured grandsons crabbing in the harbour at Dartmouth, revisiting sites that celebrate the D-day landingswith a hint of local, historical tragedy, enjoying the delights of the Water Park, and , aided by the dog, desperately attempting to escape the notorious Locked Room.

Jill was warmly thanked for the evening’s entertainment and enlightenment, (particularly about Frankincense), and congratulated on her high quality images.
Next Thursday we gather at the Old Down Inn, Emborough for our annual dinner and awards evening, where the winning entries for Picture of the Year will be proudly displayed.

Jenny Short. 01.03.2024